If You Stumble, Readjust and Start Again
Our final tip is to have a never-say-die attitude when attacking your goals. You will face challenging situations that could knock you off your course and halt your progress. Just knowing this happens to even the greatest goal-setters can go a long way in helping you regroup when it happens to you.
When you find yourself in difficult situations, you may see it as a failure. However, it is important to understand that succumbing to difficulties isn’t a failure. It’s a chance to reevaluate your goal and the strategies and action steps to see if there’s a flaw in them. After all, you can’t be expected to foresee all issues that might come up in the future. You may find that gaining more clarity, redefining your action steps or lengthening your timeframe is all that’s needed to boost your spirits back up so that you can get back on the horse.
Experiencing “failure” is very normal when you are trying to achieve your goals. It’s the catalyst that propels most people to become successful. History is full of many successful individuals who have experienced “failures” in their lives or careers. But they learned from them and became successful after applying the lessons learned.
Had Steve Jobs not been fired from his position at Apple, he would never have bought Pixar and then later transformed Apple into what it is today. If Walt Disney hadn’t lost his newspaper editor’s job for “lack of imagination,” we wouldn’t have Mickey Mouse. Colonel Sanders’ restaurant went bust, but he learned, adjusted his strategies, and today we have Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants around the globe.
From each of these experiences, we can see that “failure” shouldn’t be rejected, rather, you should embrace it. You should see “failure” as part of the journey – something that you need to meet and experience before you can achieve success. When you do this, you will appreciate your success even more.
So, if you fail, just like the men above, while trying to achieve your goal, pick yourself up, readjust and start again. Most people fail once, and that is it for them – they don’t dare stand back up again. They chose to be defeated by the results they got and decide to play it safe, stay where they are in life, just to ensure never “failing” again. Don’t let this be you! Play big. And play to win.
If you ever feel overwhelmed by “failure,” and you don’t know what to do next, try to get away from the situation and do something different for a while. When Steve Jobs lost his job at Apple, he took three months off to reflect on his life before he came back to business. It was during this time away that he was able to realize what he truly wanted in life. After he knew what he wanted then deep in his soul, he knew nothing could stop him!
Learn to ask brutally honest questions about what went wrong and what can be done to remedy the situation. By asking yourself these thought-provoking questions, you’ll be able to identify what when wrong and how you can change it the next time.
Examples of the type of question you should ask yourself could be:
- Will I be able to reach my goals if I continue to do what I’m doing? Will I get the results I want?
- Are the successful and extraordinary people in my industry doing it this way?
- Are my current actions sufficient enough to generate the results I desire so that I can achieve my goals?
You don’t have to fail before you ask yourself these questions. In fact, it’s wise to ask them after you’ve planned how to reach your goals. If you notice that you are not making much progress, something may be wrong. When you consistently ask yourself these questions as you go along in your journey, you will be able to keep yourself on track by making mini-adjustments as necessary.
Also, don’t forget that you aren’t the first person who stretched for that goal. Learn from others who came before you. Learn new skills that will make it easier to be successful. Find a mentor, read books, take courses. After you learn a new skill or strategy, implement it. Recalibrate your plans and actions, so you are working smarter, which will lead to success.
It is not enough to just work hard. Hard work will only get you results faster, but it will not guarantee your success. If you focus all your energy on working hard but do so blindly, you will only end up failing faster. So, learn and tweak as you go.
Finally, it is important for you to recognize that “failure” does not define who you are. “Failing” at something today does not mean you won’t succeed in the future. So, if you “fail,” don’t conclude that you are a failure. Just go back to the drawing board if it’s a goal that’s important to you.
Make a promise now NOT to give up when you don’t quite reach your goals. I’m a huge fan of re-assessing goals each month. Take a look at what worked last month and what didn’t – and then move what didn’t happen last month onto the new month’s schedule. Remember, even tiny steps are moving forward in the right direction!